book club Bielefeld

English-language book club Bielefeld

Hello and welcome to the internet presence of the English-language book club in Bielefeld. Not the only one (see below), but the one that I am in, so it makes sense that this one is on my website and the other one is not.

Thursday is full; hello Wednesday!

We have decided to close the Thursday evening book club to new members. The group has 12 people now, and that’s about the maximum to have a group conversation.

But do not despair! I will be starting a SECOND book club. This one will meet up every second Wednesday of the month.

How does it work?

Each monthly meetup is hosted by a member of the group on a rotating basis. The host decides which book the group will read by offering up some ideas at a previous meetup.

It doesn’t have to be a book (though it usually will be!). It could also be a journalistic article or a short story. Or even a film – the host decides!

When do we meet?

The Wednesday group meets every second Wednesday of the month at 19:30.

The Thursday group meets every last Thursday of the month at 19:30. This group is full.

Where do we meet?

The meetup’s host decides! Sometimes it will be the host’s living room, sometimes a quiet café in Mitte, sometimes a park, sometimes a space at the university.

What kinds of books do we discuss?

It’s a super mixed bag. Here is the schedule so far. (We have decided to try to plan ahead a bit, so people can read ahead if they want to.)

Wednesday group (schedule tbd)

DateHostBookGenre
Wednesday 7 December 2022Heddwenfirst meeting, no book
Wednesday 12 January 2023
Wednesday 8 February 2023

Thursday group

DateHostBookGenre
Thursday 29 September 2022HeddwenThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time / Mark HaddonYoung adult/ Mystery. Narrated by the main character, who is on the spectrum.
Thursday 27 October 2022DaniWalk through walls / Marina AbramovicMemoir by an intriguing performance artist
Thursday 24 November 2022GraceThe Circle / Dave EggersA dystopian thriller about the power of Big Tech
Thursday 15 December 2022HeddwenNo book. Social meetup at Weihnachtsmarkt.Christmas!
Thursday 26 January 2023FelixDo Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? / Philip K. DickThe science fiction novel from 1968 that inspired Blade Runner
Thursday 23 February 2023Bec“Good Omens” by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.Fantasy/ humour
Thursday 23 March 2023Kikitbd

Do the two groups ever mix?

This situation is new for us, but the plan is that there will also be a few combined events each year.

Are the groups only for native speakers?

You don’t have to be a native speaker, but your English needs to be good enough for you to comfortably be able to read and discuss a book. But, of course, your English doesn’t need to be perfect (I don’t think such a thing exists!).

The current groups are about 50% native speaker.

Is there an age restriction?

Nope. Be welcome.

How often would I be expected to join?

You will be expected to at least try to come along every month. Of course, you can be ill, or out of town or something. But the book club meeting should have a fixed spot in your calendar.

If you are looking for an English speaking social group in Bielefeld, but don’t want to have a fixed appointment once a month, I have compiled a list of other groups below.

Would I have to buy a new book once a month? That sh&#’s expensive.

Don’t worry, we have our ways. *Winks mysteriously*

How do members communicate?

Social media is so fragmented these days, so we currently have a WhatsApp group but nothing else.

That’s also why I chose to host this page on my own website – that way everybody can read the information without having to have some account somewhere.

Sounds good! How can I join?

Please email me on bookclub (at) heddwennewton.com. I’ll keep you in the loop about our next meetup, so you can come along and see if it is right for you.

If you cannot do Wednesdays and would like to join the Thursday group, I can put you on a waiting list.

I’m looking for an English-speaking group without a fixed monthly meetup

Two months after starting this club, I discovered that there IS in fact another English book club in Bielefeld! It’s a WhatsApp group, has more irregular meetups, and sounds like the place for you if you just want to be in a WhatsApp group and join a book club meetup when it takes your fancy, rather than committing to a meeting once a month.

I am in contact with the admin, so send me your phone number if you want to join, and I’ll ask her to add you. (I myself am not in the group.) bookclub (at) heddwennewton.com.

You will not hurt my feelings by emailing me and asking to be added to a different group, promise. I will pass your number on in the knowledge of having helped a fellow English speaker in Bielefeld to find a group that is right for them 🙂

(Oh, and you can also be in both groups. Why not?)

Here’s a list of other groups in Bielefeld that may interest you:

The Englisch Stammtisch Bielefeld – this group has existed for almost 50 years (!), members are a mix of German people looking to improve their English, German people with excellent English who enjoy speaking it (this is probably the biggest group), and expats looking to not speak German for an evening. They meet up every two weeks on Friday. Check the blog to see when the next meetup is. You can also join the Facebook group, but the blog has more up-to-date info, I find.

Neu in Bielefeld on Meetup.com – not for English speakers specifically, but I have found there are quite a few internationals in the group, and the German members tend to speak good English.

Bielefeld Internationals WhatsApp group – this used to be a group on meetup.com, but it’s a WhatsApp group nowadays. I’m a member of the group, so if you want to join, email me your number for WhatsApp and I can ask the admins to add you. bookclub (at) heddwennewton.com

Bielefeld University’s English Drama Group – not really a group with optional attendance if you are going to act in one of the plays, I imagine, but I still wanted to add them to the list. They have two old blogs floating around, so beware of googling them. Here’s the current blog, and the Facebook page.

r/bielefeld on Reddit – not a social group, but certainly a place where English-speaking people from Bielefeld hang out online. Now and then there will be a shout-out for a new Dungeons and Dragons group, or a spontaneous meetup, or something along those lines. At the top of the page, you will find a link to the Bielefeld Discord, where you can chat to people in Bielefeld in real time.

Do you know of any other good groups for English speakers in Bielefeld? Share your knowledge in the comments!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *